Warnings Given With Love

Scripture if full of warnings.  For the true Christian, there are many times in the New Testament we are warned, with urgency!  It is with urgency that I write this post, which is actually an addendum to yesterday’s post:  Overpopulation of Wolves

As I urged you when I went into Macedonia–remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  nor give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which cause disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith.  Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,  from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,  desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.  But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully,  knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for man slayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.”

Very strong words Paul wrote to young Timothy in his first letter (chapter 1: 3-11  NKJV)
Again in chapter 4 the words are more stern, with a warning and a blessing!

” Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,  forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;  for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.  If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.”

We do live in a time like no other, all anyone needs to do is look at technology to see that.  Our country is morally bankrupt (for the most part), our leaders are headed in dangerous directions and the Church…  well you assess for yourself.   This is a time to search your own heart in the mirror of the Word, by the Holy Spirit who gently discerns the truth of Scripture for us.  There is much happening “in the world”… but what is going on in YOUR world?  I am only able to write this, because of late our Lord Jesus Christ is pointing out things in my life that MUST be taken care of.  I praise Our Wonderful Father for His unending mercy, forgiveness and the “newness” of life He gives to all who will follow Our Savior!

  “Christians are like the several flowers in a garden that have each of them the dew of Heaven, which, being shaken with the wind, they let fall at each others roots, whereby they are jointly nourished, and become nourishers of each other.”  John Bunyun

I love you my dear sisters and brothers in Christ! 

Overpopulation of Wolves

**Disclaimer: I believe in the rights of animals to remain free in their natural habitat.  I believe ALL things must be controlled, not just animal populations.  I don’t want anyone to think for a moment I hate the grey wolf, because I have no hated for any of God’s creation**

For several decades grey wolves have been on the endangered species list in several states.  Here in Wisconsin, because of the laws regarding endangered species, we now have an overpopulation problem.  Farmers, homeowners and resort owners helped to initiate a bill in the state Congress to allow the Department of Natural Resources to create a “wolf hunting season” in an attempt to control the  overpopulation problem.   The bill passed.  Why did the state allow them to get “out of control” to the point that now we have to kill some of them off?   Maybe the DNR wasn’t  knowledgeable enough about the general habits of wolves, maybe they just weren’t paying attention or possibly it was sheer foolishness not to assess the outcome of allowing the wolves to run completely free .  Just a thought. 

 Our Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ, referred to His followers as sheep~~ John 10:22-30 “At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”  Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,  but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me,is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

John 7: 15-20 Jesus said ” Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?  So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit.  A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”

~~in the middle of the herd, cleverly disguised~~

In Acts 20: 28-31 the Apostle Paul spoke these words to the Ephesian elders ” Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.”

Luke 10: 1-3  After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go.  And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.  Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”

As the Apostle John approached his later years, he wrote to the church at Ephesus
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.  Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

 John warned them in a very fatherly, pastoral way knowing there were many in the church who questioned the truth.    I’ve noticed a nonchalance within churches in the past several years.
In churches today we face the same problems as the church at Ephesus~~ false prophets (wolves) are among us;  those cleverly disguised to look like, talk like and even sometimes walk like a true believer (sheep).  There is only one way to protect the ” true sheep of His flock” is to do as the above Scriptures tell us. 

We each must: TEST the spirits, KNOW the Lord’s way and most of all are fully assured in our hearts that “we know that we know” our salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ is true and sure according to our Heavenly Father’s Holy Word. 

Let’s not be like the foolish members of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources.

 My Prayer For All of The Body of Christ

“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.”  Psalm 25:4-5